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January 3, 2008
Mr & Mrs Smith - Blu-Ray Movie Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
9/6/20053/1/2008FoxDoug Liman
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD MA 5.1MBrad Pitt / Angelina Jolie

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Two of the hottest actors today.
It was the movie that saw the formation of 'Brangelina'. It's a stupid name, I hate it, but tabloids have nothing better to do. For those that don't know what I'm talking about Mr & Mrs Smith was the movie that brought Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie together, and the on-screen chemistry soon spread off-screen finally culminating on the marriage which we now read about every week! So what is this movie about you ask? Well the plot is as follows...

After five (or six) years of vanilla "wedded bliss", ordinary suburbanites John and Jane Smith are stuck in a rut the size of the Grand Canyon - until the truth comes out!. Unbeknownst to each other, they are both coolly lethal, highly paid assassins working for rival organizations. And when they discover they're each other's next target, their secret lives collide in a spicy, explosive mix of wicked comedy, pent-up passion nonstop action and high-tech weaponry that gives an all new meaning to "Till Death do us part!"

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There's plenty of destruction in the movie.
With reports of the script going through up to 50 drafts prior to filming, and two endings being scrapped before the current ending was put into the film it's no wonder that the movie does seem a bit disjoined at times. Also interesting is that the films steamier sex scene has been edited back heavily so the film could gain a PG-13 rating in America (and an M rating here in Australia). One can only imagine how well an uncut version may sell in stores today given the huge popularity of both actors.

Despite the production issues somehow, with all the script changes, editing, and changed ending, the movie still comes through as an entertaining action piece. Mr & Mrs Smith is certainly a 'popcorn' flick. There's no deep story or meaning to be found, but there is a lot of over the top action. Perhaps being married gives me a slightly altered perspective on the movie as I seemed to enjoy it quite a bit more then several of my single friends. While it's true doesn't have the best script, and the acting is a bit average in parts however it is entertaining, and that's why we watch movies isn't it?

As such as recent release in the cinemas one would expect this movie to shape up pretty well on Blu-Ray and indeed it does. The AVC MPEG-4 encoded video is presented in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and look absolutely sensational on a large High-Def TV (like our 46" Samsung 1080p LCD TV with HDMI 1.3). This is certainly a much improved image over DVD as one would expect with rich colours used throughout the film. Detail levels are impressive throughout as well.

Having said that Mr & Mrs Smith on Blu-Ray still isn't quite up to the superb standards set by some of Fox's other titles. I found the image to have a little film grain in places, and in some of the - primarily darker - scenes the image appears a little soft. There were also a number of scenes where the contrast levels seemed a little high. These were all tiny issues though in an otherwise superb presentation.

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Ohhh, hotness with a big gun!
Fox have yet again managed to impress us with a DTS-HD Master Audio track on this Blu-Ray disc. Sadly though we are still restricted to listening to the DTS 'core' at 1.5Mbps due to the PS3's inability to output DTS-HD Master Audio Bitstream, but even at this bitrate the audio is simply superb. Dialogue is clear and the music immersive however where this soundtrack shines is the effects such as gunfire and explosions - it certainly is a track that will have you jumping out of your seat on a regular basis.

If you want a demonstration of the brilliance of the track listen to the shootout and fight in the house between 1:11:00 and 1:15:09. Not only will you here some wonderful gunfire, but also the destruction of other objects within the house. Still not impressed. Well perhaps an even better of the lively audio quality in this movie is the car chase and shootout on the highway between 1:24:25 and 1:29:05. As well as some great directional use for the gunfire and cars, the dialogue remains crystal clear at all times.

The only other audio track on this disc is a Spanish DTS track at 768kbps. While a little duller then the DTS-HD Master Audio track it still provides a brilliant audio experience. Subtitles are provided in numerous languages including English.

Despite being a pretty big success at the box office with a worldwide take of $US478 million it is a little disappointing that Fox have never gone all-out to do a kick-ass ultimate edition of Mr & Mrs Smith. Indeed the bulk of the extras here are the commentaries but with some repetition between the three tracks it would have been nice to see them re-edited into one or two tracks.

Commentary from Director and Screenwriters: Doug Liman and screenwriter Simon Kinberg provide the first of three commentaries and it is worth a listen. There are quite a few interesting bits of information including quite a bit about the problems they had during the production such as financing as well as details on the storyline.

Commentary from Producers: Akiva Goldsman and Lucas Foster's commentary is probably the least interesting of the three if only because much of their material is covered in the other tracks (this was the track I listened to last, so I guess if you listen to this first the same could be said of other tracks!). This track is a little drier then other tracks and not as entertaining, but there is still some decent information.

Commentary from Editor, Production Designer and Visual Effects Supervisor: Michael Tronick, Jeff Mann, and Kevin Elam provide a pretty entertaining commentary as the trio discuss production of the movie and their experiences with the director and even detail some mistakes in the movie. I actually found this to be the best of the commentaries.

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The very seductive Angelina Jolie.
Deleted Scenes (8:44/HD): Three deleted scenes that flesh out the story a little more, but were obviously cut for pacing. Some of the footage in these scenes did make it into the final movie.

Fox Movie Channel Presents Making a Scene (8:05/HD): Presented in 4:3 this is a quick 'promotional' look at making a scene in the movie. Interviews with cast and crew, but basically repeating the story with a few behind the scenes clips.

Mr & Mrs Smith Trailers (4:23/HD): Trailer C and Trailer E for Mr & Mrs Smith. Presented in HD with AVC MPEG-4 Code and DD5.1 audio at 448kbps.

Other Trailers (5:29/HD): Trailers for Entrapment, The Sentinel and The Transporter.

Mr & Mrs Smith is a pretty entertaining movie. There is obvious chemistry between Angelina and Brad, and Vince Vaughn is his usual self. The video transfer is pretty good, while the audio is quite superb. The disc also comes with a few decent extras - as long as you like commentaries. Mr & Mrs Smith on Blu-Ray is one to add to your collection.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Fox. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.